Matthew Kelly, popular Catholic speaker and author, talks about following your star. Basically, following your star is finding your passion and going for it with all you got. Below, in an excerpt from his book, “Rhythm of Life”, he talks about the important influence of stories as you seek to follow your star.
We must each follow our own star in our own time. It helps me to read the stories of other great men and women. It is the stories of the leaders, heroes, legends, champions, and saints that taught me to wait patiently for my star and continue to teach me to pursue it with unrelenting dedication.
If you have heard me speak, you know of my great love for stories. There is something very powerful about stories, each listener hears something different according to his or her own place on the journey.
Stories help us discover who we are and who we can be. Stories are important. To poison a person, poison the stories you tell him. To demoralize a person, tell her demoralizing stories. You will always be as confident and healthy as the stories you read, listen to, and tell yourself. We become the stories we listen to, read, and tell. That is the power of a story.
Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotel empire, used to tell this story.
A very poor Greek man once applied for a job as a janitor in a bank in Athens. “Can you write?” demanded the discriminating head of employment.
“Only my name,” said the fellow.
He didn’t get the job. So, he borrowed the money required to travel steerage to the United States and followed his dreams to the “land of opportunity.”
Many years later, an important Greek businessman held a press conference in his beautiful Wall Street offices. At the conclusion, an enterprising reporter said, “One day you should write your memoirs.”
The gentleman smiled, “Impossible,” he said. “I cannot write.” The reporter was astounded. “Just think,” he remarked, “how much further you would have gone if you could write.”
The Greek shook his head and said, “If I could write, I’d be a janitor.”
Follow your star. Wait for it to rise, and while you are waiting, prepare yourself. Become intimately familiar with your needs, talents, and desires. Remember, circumstances, whether they appear to be good or bad, are opportunities. When you see a star rise on the horizon of your life, and you are filled with a burning desire to follow it, and you perceive that by following it you will use your talents and fulfill your legitimate needs, follow it.
Once you begin to follow it, let nothing distract you from it.
Every leader, hero, legend, champion, and saint in history has followed his or her personal star; by doing so, these people grasped their chance at greatness, and left those around them awe inspired and amazed.